Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.” -Malcolm Forbes
The benefits of a diverse work place go beyond the employees in a company, but reach into the often forgotten pool of partners (vendors) that are an extension of the firm. The United States Billion Dollar Roundtable is an organization dedicated to drive supplier diversity excellence through best practice sharing and thought leadership. Their member base is made up of fortune 500 leaders that spend a minimum of $1 Billion USD with diverse suppliers. Their statistics highlight a correlation between successful supplier diversity programs and a mentor/protégé program with partners (vendors).
See Greater Return with Supplier Diversity
A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that the top 4th of companies with racial and ethnic diversity in senior management were more likely to have 35% financial returns over industry competitors. Similarly, gender diversity tracked closely behind with a 15% financial advantage over competitors. Companies that had at least one female board member yielded higher profitability. What would this number be if it were to expand and leverage the thinking, approach and execution that comes from the many diverse vendors supporting organizations today?
How to get the ball rolling with Supplier Diversity:
As a buyer of creative services, you can make all the difference in helping your most strategic partner gain visibility, provide value add to your organization and all while achieving spend towards your organization’s Supplier Diversity Spend goal. If you are looking to make a difference and get involved with Supplier Diversity, here are some things that you can do to get the ball rolling on developing a mentor/protégé program with a diverse supplier:
1. Find the Supplier Diversity Tsar in your organization.
Identify a partner in your supplier diversity organization who is assigned to your business unit. This is typically someone a group of people in your organization tied to supply chain or procurement that are responsible for ensuring diverse suppliers have access to dollars that an organization spends in that category of spend.
2. Mapping your colleagues to your partner’s offerings
Develop a plan that will help you to identify and leverage diverse suppliers for your organization’s vendor base.
3. Ensure vendors are certified with organizations that count!
Ensure that the vendors you have identified are certified diverse suppliers by Nationally recognized third party organizations. Your Supplier Diversity partner can give you a list of organizations, the two most common one’s are: National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC) and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
4. Design and execute a plan
Once you have identified a diverse supplier you want to partner with, develop a strategic plan that highlights the value add they believe they can bring to the table (usually gratis) along with ideas on how you can help them expand their foot print in your organization through introductions.
5. Measure success
Success isn’t success without the data to measure it. Have a quarterly touch base and annual sit down to include your supplier diversity partner to measure the results of the new formed mentor protégé partnership with.
Everyone has the opportunity to drive our global economy forward with diversity top of mind, take the step to make a difference, one company at a time. If you’d like to discuss this blog or ideas specific to your organization, email firstname.lastname@example.org